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Tag: Brian Werth

Black Collar Crime: Former Catholic Youth Worker Brian Werth Spent Three Years in Prison for Sexual Abuse, Accused of Child Pornography Crimes

brian werth

The Black Collar Crime Series relies on public news stories and publicly available information for its content. If any incorrect information is found, please contact Bruce Gerencser. Nothing in this post should be construed as an accusation of guilt. Those accused of crimes are innocent until proven guilty.

In 2018, Brian Werth, a youth worker at St. Elizabeth’s Catholic Church in Rockville, Maryland, was sentenced yesterday to three years in prison for the sexual abuse of a church teenager.

The Bethesda Magazine reported:

A former youth minister at St. Elizabeth’s Catholic Church in Rockville was sentenced Tuesday to three years in prison for the sexual abuse of a teen parishioner, according to Montgomery County prosecutors.

Brian Patrick Werth, 34, had been arrested in 2016 in connection with the abuse of a then-16-year-old girl, to whom he had sent explicit text messages for two years and had sexual contact with her earlier that year. He was charged with a fourth-degree sex offense, sexual abuse of a minor and second-degree assault.

Judge Karla Smith sentenced Werth to one year for the sex offense charge and two years for the assault charge, according to a State’s Attorney’s Office press release. The two terms will be served consecutively, followed by five years of probation with COMET, a sex offender monitoring program that will include periodic polygraph and psychosexual testing. Werth is also required to register as a sex offender for 15 years.

Smith went beyond state guidelines, which recommend zero to six months for the charges, in the sentencing. Ramón Korionoff, a spokesman for the State’s Attorney’s Office, said the sentence was appropriate.

“It is our hope that this above-the-guidelines sentence will send a strong message that people in position of authority and trust must not abuse that power over the young people they are supposed to be serving,” he said in a statement. “Hopefully, yesterday’s sentence will be the first step in healing for the victim and the church community in this matter.”


Werth, who lived in Montgomery Village at the time, had known the victim through the church, and learned that she “adored him,” according to prosecutors. They began texting, and police later discovered he had sent graphic and sexual texts to her since the summer of 2014.

On about May 20, 2016, Werth kissed the teen and had other inappropriate sexual contact with her during a youth event at the church, according to police.

St. Elizabeth’s had fired Werth in 2016 after the pastor received a complaint against him that summer, according to a statement from the Archdiocese of Washington at the time. The pastor contacted the Archdiocese’s Child and Youth Protection Office, which then reported the case to county police.

After his release from prison, Werth was accused of one count of solicitation of a minor to engage in the production of obscene matter, three counts of possession with intent to distribute pornography, and ten counts of possession of child pornography.

In 2021, the Maryland State Police reported,

A Prince George’s County man was arrested and charged Tuesday after a Maryland State Police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force investigation developed evidence supporting charges of possession of child pornography and the attempted solicitation of a minor.

The suspect is identified as Brian Werth, 37, of Beltsville, MD. Werth, a registered sex offender, is charged with solicitation of a minor to engage in the production of obscene matter, three counts of possession with intent to distribute pornography and 10 counts of possession of child pornography. He was taken to the Maryland State Police College Park Barrack for processing before being transferred to the Prince George’s County Detention Center, where he is being held without bond.

On June 24, the Maryland State Police Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force received a CyberTip report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children involving the distribution of child pornography online. The investigation led to the identification of the suspect and his residence in Prince George’s County.

Through the course of the investigation, troopers discovered that Werth had also been communicating with a minor in North Carolina. Troopers, with the assistance of Homeland Security Investigations, arrested Werth Tuesday as he went to visit his probation officer in Hyattsville, Maryland. Investigators also served a search warrant at the identified suspect’s residence.

I found no further information on Brian Werth’s 2021 arrest. He could have been violated and returned to prison. I found no news story on the adjudication of Werth’s case. Maryland uses a convoluted sex offender registry. After several attempts to use it, I gave up. Come on, Maryland, it’s 2023.

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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Bruce Gerencser